Have you ever needed to buy or sell a home and gone through the often difficult process of choosing the best Realtor for the job?
It can be a daunting proposition, for sure, and one that we’ve dealt with many times over here at the Oldfather Group. It’s a huge life decision and one that will have ramifications for many years to come, particularly if you’re a buyer traveling down the road to home ownership.
We encourage you to go through a thorough vetting process when choosing the right man or woman to help you buy or sell your home. Interview several candidates, ask your friends and colleagues for referrals and do a complete online search.
Then, when you’ve picked out a few you think have promise, meet with each one individually and ask plenty of questions. And therein lies the purpose of today’s blog – asking the right questions.
Our friends at Motto Mortgage recently wrote a blog outlining the seven questions you should ask any Realtor to ensure that you’re getting the proper fit for your needs and for your unique situation.
Oldfather Group Chief Buyer Consultant Adam Linder was quoted in that story, which got us to thinking that it would be a good topic to approach on a local level.
So let’s go over each of the seven questions individually and talk about how each one pertains to our local real estate markets at the Delaware and Maryland beaches.
What experience do you have in my desired area and price point?
If you’re looking for an experienced real estate team at the Delaware and Maryland beaches, you won’t find one with any more than the Oldfather Group. That being said, each of our agents has their own areas of strength, so you’ll want to make sure that the one you hire to work on your behalf is one that will be right for you.
As Adam said in the Motto Mortgage article: “It’s about finding an agent who has both the professional qualifications and the personality. If it was a doctor, bedside manner would come after professional qualifications.”
You should always establish a Realtor’s expertise before going any further in the process. You can establish a rapport and a connection later. But if he or she is not qualified for the job, it’s not going to matter how good you get along.
What is your approach for determining which homes to show your clients?
If you want to buy a home at the Delaware and Maryland beaches, you’ll definitely want to know how the agent determines which properties he or she is going to show you.
You don’t want to be wasting time looking at homes that you either can’t afford or that are in an area you really don’t have any interest in. If you want a home at the beach, for example, you don’t want to be looking at homes in the Seaford or Laurel areas. Or vice versa.
How do you decide what price to list a home for?
If this isn’t the most important question you can ask as a seller, it’s definitely high on the list. But who are we kidding? Of course, it’s the most important question because it determines your bottom line at the end of the day.
If you price the home too high, you run the risk of it staying on the market for an extended period of time. But if you price it too low, you’re not going to maximize your profit at the closing table.
A qualified coastal Delaware or Maryland Realtor will know the market inside out and have a proven system and technique for determining the ideal price point for your family home.
You want an agent who will spend time researching comparable home prices and factoring in market conditions for your particular location.
What is your approach when your clients get stressed?
Buying and/or selling a home can be a stressful process and that’s not going to change any time soon. For the vast majority of people, this will be the largest financial transaction of their lifetime, at least until it comes time to go through it all again in a few years.
Do you want someone who will console you when the process becomes difficult, or someone who will be firm and force you to step up to the plate and tackle the process head on?
Each agent is different, including our large and continuously growing team at the Oldfather Group. Just make sure that your agent has the type of personality and attitude that you’re looking for, as this could be a longer process that you wish or hope it to be.
How would your closest friends and family describe you?
While this may seem like a bit of an odd question at first glance, it gives you a chance to flesh out the kind of Realtor that we discussed in the previous question.
Think of it as a job interview and you’re the boss. In a big way, that’s exactly what it is.
Listen to the types of qualities and personality traits that will be a good fit for you and your situation, and then pick the coastal Delaware/Maryland Realtor that’s right for you.
How often do you like to communicate with your clients and via what method?
This really comes down to personal preference. Do you want a Realtor who will check in with you daily, weekly or only by scheduled appointment? Do you prefer text, email or telephone conversations, or a combination of all three?
You don’t want to hire a Realtor, for example, who only communicates via text messaging if you don’t have a cell phone or aren’t well versed on texting etiquette.
Conversely, if you’re busy and either working or traveling a lot, you don’t want to be working with an agent who might be sending you several messages every day.
The coastal Delaware/Maryland market can be fast moving at times, so be sure to take that into consideration when deciding who to hire to buy or sell your family home.
How much do you guide your clients and how much do you let them guide you?
This is another question that comes back to your personal preferences. Do you want a Realtor who has more of a “take charge” attitude, or one who is willing to work with you more collaboratively?
Most experienced Realtors, including a good portion of our agents at the Oldfather Group, can be extremely versatile in this regard. And that’s really the kind of Realtor you want working on your behalf.
At the end of the day, you want to get to know the person who you will be working with through this important process.
Take your time, do your interviews and your research and be sure that the Realtor you hire is the one that’s right for you and your unique situation.
And if we at the Oldfather Group can help you in any way, please give us a ring at 302-260-2000 or visit us online at www.theoldfathergroup.com.